Moving in 2024? Dozens of Cities and States Will Pay New Residents Up to $15,000 to Live There

by posted in FOREX TRADING, Investments, MAKE MONEY, TRENDING

Tired of the place where you live? Consider getting paid to relocate. Dozens of cities and states want you, especially if you’re a remote worker. In return, the new residents will find apartments or homes far more affordable than big-city housing. They may also appreciate a different pace of living.

Some incentives are designed to help new residents pay down student loan debt. Depending on the program, you could be paid a lump sum, a monthly amount, or, in one case, every year for as long as you live there. You’ll need to prove your age and U.S. citizenship or lawful permanent resident status, then go through an application process and possibly a video interview. Sometimes, you’ll have to promise to stay for a set amount of time to get the cash.

Research the area ahead of time because once accepted, you may have as little as three months to provide a signed lease or agreement to rent/buy in the region. Generally speaking, you’ll need a “real” job, i.e., with an annual W-2 tax form.

Make My Move (various states)

Couples shifting to new house
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This aggregator website features 197 towns with incentives to attract new residents. Currently, it lists programs in dozens of communities in Kansas, Indiana, Kentucky, Iowa, New Mexico, Georgia, and other states.

These regions are so anxious to get remote workers that they offer thousands of dollars for relocation, additional money for home buying, free Internet, gym memberships, tax waivers, and free sports events, concerts, and outdoor adventures.

Lincoln County, Kansas, will even give qualified applicants a free lot to build a home. It also offers newcomers a dozen fresh-from-the-farm eggs every month for one year. Have you seen the price of eggs lately?

Program rules vary, but typically, you must be a full-time remote worker who doesn’t currently live in the area. Visit the Make My Move website for more information.

Vermont

Vermont
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The Green Mountain State has two programs to attract workers: the New Remote Worker Grant and the New Relocating Worker Grant (for those who move to Vermont and take a qualifying job). These grants reimburse up to $7,500 (depending on the city of residence) for relocation expenses, including moving costs, shipping, supplies, closing costs, lease deposit, and one month’s rent.

Vermont is an undeniably beautiful state with a small population (its largest city has only 40,000 residents) and tremendous access to outdoor activities. Folks who live here are independent-minded and politically aware. Before you move, consider the twin trials of harsh winters, a lingering “mud season,” plus a high cost of living.

On the bright side: You get Ben & Jerry’s and the Vermont Country Store!

Greater Rochester, NY

Rochester, New York
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The third largest city in the state, Rochester, is much closer to Niagara Falls (90 miles) than New York City (330 miles). The Greater ROC Remote program encompasses a nine-county network, and it’s generous: $10,000 to relocate and up to $9,000 in home-buying incentives. It’s for full-time remote workers living at least 300 miles from the region.

Sure, it’s snowy in the winter. But oh, the summers! The area is known for outdoor activities like hiking, climbing, boating, and biking. It features 140 festivals and events each year (including one of the top 10 U.S. jazz fests), the Seneca Park Zoo, the country’s second-biggest children’s museum, renowned regional breweries and wineries, loads of arts and culture, and more than 12,000 acres of parkland that includes Letchworth State Park (aka “the Grand Canyon of the East”).

If accepted, you have six months to move there.

Hamilton, OH

view of downtown Hamilton Ohio, viewed from side of the High Street bridge over the Miami River including the Butler County Soldiers Monument
Image Credit: McKenzie & Snyder – CC BY-SA 4.0/Wiki Commons.

Do you have a degree in science, technology, engineering, math, or the arts? Did you earn that degree within the past seven years, and did you go into debt to get it? If so, Hamilton’s Talent Attraction Program might be just what you need. Open to those with remote worker positions or those getting jobs in Butler County, the program pays $400 a month (maximum of $15,000) toward your educational loans.

Like other Rust Belt cities, this former industrial town is reinventing itself. It has a 30-acre sculpture park, brewpubs, an arthouse cinema, several galleries, canoeing/kayaking, a 12-week free summer concert series, quirky retail options, and three designated historic districts established by the U.S. Register of Historic Places.

Located just 20 minutes outside Cincinnati, this town of 64,000 could be the right fit if you want easy access to a big city while living in a slightly quieter location.

Paducah, KY

Buildings on Broadway in Paducah, Kentucky.
Image Credit: Farragutful – CCA SA 4.0/WikiCommons.

Kentucky isn’t just horse racing and bourbon distilleries. Paducah has a burgeoning cultural scene, biking/jogging trails, boating, riverwalk, and a growing reputation for food and drink. The motto of its Remote Workers Incentive Program is “Do What You Do From Paducah,” and they want to make moving there a little easier.

Among the offerings are $2,500 to relocate, a one-year waiver for the 2% payroll tax, up to $70 per month for a year’s worth of Internet service, and more than $1,000 worth of free tickets to local arts/cultural attractions (including the symphony, an arthouse cinema, an entrepreneurial hub, and theater and art centers)

Have all your ducks in a row before applying because if you’re accepted, you have just three months to prove you’ve rented or are about to buy a place.

West Virginia

West Virginia
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The state’s Ascend West Virginia program was designed to attract more residents to this beautiful place. You’ll need a full-time job with a company outside the state. Remote workers who qualify can get $12,000 in cold, hard cash: $10,000 during the first year and $2,000 at the end of their second year of residency. You’ll also be given access to free whitewater rafting, skiing, and other outdoor activities.

While a love for the great outdoors is a big plus, West Virginia isn’t all hills. For example, Morgantown is a college city with a burgeoning foodie culture, Division 1 sports, a brand-new baseball team in the MLB Draft League, and plenty of hiking, boating, and other outdoorsy recreation close by. In the Greenbrier Valley region, you can explore the Lost World Caverns or traverse a 78-mile former railroad – but you can also get a massage, sip a craft beer, visit galleries and specialty retail, and indulge in diverse dining options.

The Shoals, AL

Overlooking the Tennessee River and Florence at night, long exposure, from Muscle Shoals Alabama - Traffic leaving trails and showing the vibrancy of the town
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About two hours away from Memphis, Nashville, and Birmingham, this region hosts two world-famous music companies: Muscle Shoals Sound Studio (the subject of an acclaimed documentary) and FAME Recording Studios. To ensure continued population growth, the Remote Shoals program will pay $10,000 to qualified applicants with remote work jobs.

Four main cities participate: Muscle Shoals, Florence, Tuscumbia, and Sheffield. The biggest town, Florence, promotes its “vibrant and bustling urban experience.” The fastest-growing city, Muscle Shoals, has been attracting a lot of families due to its “community atmosphere,” according to the program.

Once accepted, you’ll get 25% of the cash upfront, another 25% six months after that, and the remaining 50% after your first full year of residence. Note: You must earn at least $52,000 a year to apply and be ready to move within six months after qualifying.

Alaska

Anchorage, Alaska
Image Credit: Shutterstock.

Last Frontier residents can collect an annual dividend from the Alaska Permanent Fund, a program created with oil revenues. Each year, a portion of the fund is distributed to all eligible Alaskans who apply. Yes, even the kids!

The amount varies since it’s based on investments, but in the past few years, it’s ranged from $1,314 to $3,284. Eligibility is based on full-time residency, and you can’t have lived outside the state for more than 180 days (with some exceptions, such as military service).

Alaska can be a tough place to live because it’s isolated and expensive (locals call it “the Alaska gouge”). But it’s also a gorgeous place to live, and both summer and winter recreation is primo. The annual check does help defray the higher cost of living and the price of a full-spectrum light box to combat Seasonal Affective Disorder. And remember: Where a typical pay-you-to-move-there program pays you a set amount of cash, the PFD check is annual for each household member for as long as you live there.

SmartBuy (Maryland)

Baltimore streets in spring, Maryland, USA
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Want to move to Maryland? The state’s SmartBuy program offers up to $40,000 worth of student loan repayment for first-time homebuyers who buy state-owned homes. You’ll also need to meet income limits established by each county.

Here’s how it works: You buy a house through an approved lender and get 15% of the purchase price in cash toward your student debt. The money comes from a second mortgage loan on your new place, with no interest or payments, and 20% of the loan is forgiven each year. Note: that 15% must completely retire at least one household member’s total student debt.

There’s no guarantee a home will be available in the part of Maryland you want to move to, but it’s worth a shot, right? And when you live in Maryland, you’re close to some pretty incredible places; a short car ride or a few-hour trip will get you to Baltimore, New York City, Philadelphia, Richmond, or Washington, D.C.

Topeka, KS

Topeka, Kansas
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The Choose Topeka program has several access points: one employer match program and two for individual workers. 

If you’re a transitioning military service member, Topeka wants to thank you for your service in the form of cold, hard cash if you move there. Successful applicants will get $5,000 without restrictions on how it’s spent. Use it for moving costs, fixing your new place, or building the emergency fund all new homeowners need.

If you’ve lived in Shawnee County before and want to move back, you may be eligible for assistance (the website does not specify how much). Applicants must have jobs with an annual salary of at least $50,000.

Michigan

Detroit, MI
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A program called Move to Michigan makes relocating to the southwest part of the state more enticing. How does up to $15,000 toward your mortgage sound?

Applicants must work remotely for a company headquartered outside Michigan. The home they buy or build has to cost at least $200,000 and be located in one of nine specific cities or townships. Child-free folks will get $10,000; those with kids attending public school for the first two years of residency will get $15,000. All participants can choose a couple of perks, including an annual gym membership, car service to and from regional airports, parks/beach access, and a coworking space membership.

Sure, it’s cold. But not all year long! Did we mention that this region has Lake Michigan as its backyard? Or that it’s known for a “Makers Trail” of wineries, breweries, distilleries and cideries? The area has a symphony orchestra, live theater, museums, and galleries to keep you culturally fit, but remember to schedule a trip to the pumpkin patch in the fall or the area’s farm stands for fresh produce.

Tulsa, OK

Tulsa
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The Tulsa Remote program provides a $10,000 grant for full-time remote workers who want to move to Oklahoma City. Participants will get $3,000 upfront to help with relocation costs and then $500 monthly. They’ll also get one-on-one support, monthly events and meetups for “Remoters,” access to a Slack community, and discounts for concerts and the city’s pro baseball, hockey, and soccer teams.

Aside from that, Tulsa has a ballet and opera company, museums and galleries, a black-owned bookstore and coffee shop, live music, a zoo, a botanical garden, and lots of fishing and boating.

If accepted, you have up to one year to relocate. Participants may rent instead of buying a home.

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